Scuba diving is obviously an activity that pumps up your adrenaline for it’s definitely risky. For the same reason, every dive must always be planned carefully. The topmost goal is to always be completely safe while enjoying underwater. In order to ensure that, there are certain factors to consider to tell if diving in a specific area on a specific day is okay. So before “diving” straight into the safest scuba diving places, let us first know the aspects which tell that a site is a safe place for diving. Through this, you won’t just know about amazing diving places but also their significance regarding safety.
These are the following conditions that need to be checked before deciding to scuba dive:
This is the most important thing to consider before scheduling a scuba diving stint. Why? It’s for the sole reason that it will dictate what happens above the water and below the water. On the other hand, this isn’t really as easy as checking accurate weather reports from the newspapers, television, radio, or the internet. It’s because weather changes from one place to another. Moreover, weather patterns in coastal regions often vary from that of the inland areas. Due to this, find a marine-oriented weather forecast that is catered for marine activities. Actually scuba diving or diving in general is really one of the outdoor activities that depend greatly on the weather.
Take note that a really heavy windy weather isn’t appropriate for diving. Why? This kind of weather will indeed make the ocean’s surface real rough. That will make the boat really unsteady which may then also result to your sea sickness. Furthermore, know that dive cruises, liveaboards, and deep ocean dives highly depend on the weather. On the other hand, experienced divers opt to go even in this kind of weather. It’s because for the thrill and challenge. So if you aren’t a professional diver or one who has tried diving for a reasonable number of times, just go when the weather is calm.
These are basically the changing water level in the ocean that results from the gravitational pull of the moon. The tidal condition is certainly a vital factor to take into consideration since tides either expose or conceal rocks that are near the water’s surface. During the high tide, more rocks are, of course, submerged. Conversely, during low tide, more rocks are exposed.
These are the result of small ripples, resulting from surface winds blowing along the ocean’s surface, getting bigger. They get larger because the said winds are getting stronger at the same time. Take note that swells affect the boat carrying the divers. Dive preparations, diving entries, and diving exits can definitely be affected even by the smallest of swells. So what more can larger swells do?
This is the result of waves reaching shallow water and then slowing down until they crash forward. The surf is something you must indeed think about if you are diving from the shore.
Take note that beaches with gentle slopes experience spilling breakers over a long distance. It can certainly be hard to pass through when waves are either large or close together. However, in beaches with steep slopes, expect that the surf can break close to the water’s edge. It’s advisable to avoid this because it’s really forceful, unless they are small enough to make a safe passage for you.
This is a back-and-forth movement of the water resulting from the passing overhead of the waves. Take note that strong surge will definitely restrict you from swimming. For this reason, you need to know how to adapt your swimming with the direction of the surge.
These are formed by winds, waves, tides, as well as the Earth’s rotation. In diving, there are three kinds of currents which are present near the shore that are certainly significant: longshore, rip, and tidal currents.
Longshore Currents are running parallel to the shore. Additionally, they are standing currents since they seldom change direction. Take note that you need to know the direction of this current for it can move you far from your diving entry and exit.
Rip Currents are running perpendicular to the shore. Additionally, they are transitory currents for they can definitely suddenly appear out of nowhere. Know that if you are surface swimming to a dive site, these currents can aid and move you closer towards there.
Tidal Currents results from the incoming and outgoing tides forcing water through a narrow passage. Additionally, they indeed change in direction and force a lot of times. Moreover, take note that these currents are absolutely forceful. Diving can be safely done when there are slack tidal currents or when tides are about to change direction.
This is another important factor since scuba diving is all about seeing what’s underwater. Without a doubt, good visibility is a must. Bear in mind that there are many factors at play that certainly affects it. Those factors are weather, seasonal variation, water motion, bottom composition, as well as the time of the day. These affect the turbidity or how much particulate matter is in the water and the absorption or the amount of light that can penetrate underwater.
- Water Temperature
The temperature of the body of water where you are diving should be on your mind as well. It would not be a good idea to dive without a wetsuit if the waters are cold. Wetsuits are designed to keep you warm with the rubber neoprene. In addition to this, they aren’t waterproof. On the other hand, you should choose a drysuit if the waters are extremely cold. Drysuits are also completely waterproof.
These occur when strong offshore winds blow out towards the sea. Moreover, they lower temperatures as well as increase visibility and nutrient content of the surface waters. Clearly, you have to take the chance when there are upwellings since they are good for diving.
This is a condition where the temperature in the water naturally decreases as you go deeper, but then there are just areas where there are indeed drastic changes. Take note that this frequently happens in fresh water lakes. However, it’s only occasional in oceans. You definitely need to be aware of this, so you know the right suit to wear for diving.
This refers to the living creatures in the waters you are planning to go dive into. This one is a 100% no-brainer since diving is all about exploring what the underneath has to offer. You definitely want to know what you are going to see down there.
- Bottom Composition
This refers to the bottom features of the body of water you are diving into. Take note that these will dictate the things you will see underneath as well as the amount of visibility available. Furthermore, there are indeed different kinds of bottoms such as rocks, gravels, sans, silts, or mud.
- Bottom Contour
This won’t just tell you about the kind of marine life that you will encounter down there, but the area’s depth range too. The favorable bottom contours for diving are those with steep or vertical bottoms. This is because they certainly have a huge marine life diversity for you to explore.
Safe Places to Scuba Dive
Finally, we have come to the best part of this blog. Here, we compiled a list of some of the best places to go scuba diving. Be ready to be amazed at some of the world’s coolest bodies of water that are also very safe to scuba dive!
1. Koh Tao, Thailand
First of the safest places to scuba dive in the world is this one. Koh Tao is an island in the Gulf of Thailand that is a contender for the best diving spot in the world. What mainly attracts divers to this place is that it offers a year-round diving. Moreover, its water movement and current are both calm. For this reason, amateur divers are able to enjoy exploring the underwater with no hindrances.
The diving sites in Koh Tao are generally shallow. Additionally, they are a part of a fringing reef environment, meaning they start at the surface. Obviously, this is another factor which makes divers love Koh Tao. It’s because shallow sites are more comfortable due to manageable air consumption. In addition to this, the island has indeed ideal water conditions. Take note that exposure suits are the common diving attire in the island.
Furthermore, the diving professionals in Koh Tao are definitely well-trained and completed their PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer program. At the same time, the island has a world class medical support on standby. For these reasons, scuba diving in Koh Tao is 100% safe.
Lastly, Koh Tao is deemed as a tropical paradise because the divers are also surrounded by hotels, restaurants, and more amenities. Indeed, everything they need are in the island.
2. Richelieu Rock, Thailand
Next on the list of places for safe scuba diving is Richelieu Rock on the east of Surin Islands and northeast of Similan islands is an isolated pinnacle. The rock’s top is only visible during low tides but submerged during the high tides. Moreover, the depth of the waters in this famous site is about 35 meters. For this reason, you will need to do at least two dives to explore it. Additionally, there are various rocks, pinnacles, overhangs, and even small caves below.
Furthermore, this diving site is known for its Whale Sharks, giving it the name “Whale Shark Magnet.” If you want to see them, schedule your diving stint around the month of February to May. On the other hand, the other marine life there consist of the following:
- Giant Trevallies
- Leopard Sharks
- Manta Raya
- Ghost Pipefishes
- Dogtooth Tunas
- Whitetip Sharks
- Tomato Clownfishes
Beware as the currents in this site can be strong for the Richelieu Rock is in open water. However, don’t worry as it’s easy to find shelter on one side of the pinnacle or another. Also take note that the visibility can be reduced by the large amount of plankton.
3. Cape Kri- Raja Ampat, Indonesia
This famous drop-off dive site is located on the Northeastern point of the Kri Island in Raja Ampat. The reason why it’s famous is because of its really huge marine biodiversity. Back in 2012, Dr. Gerry Allen once recorded here the highest number of different species on a one-tank dive. Moreover, the said record has 374 species. This biodiversity, resulting from the crossroads of various currents at the tip of the Kri Island, is indeed the main attraction of this diving site.
Some of the marine life that you will certainly encounter there are the following:
- Moray Eels
- Scorpion Fishes
- Leaf Fishes
- Clown Fishes
- Sergent Majors
- Emperor Fishes
- Brittle Stars
- Crocodile Fishes
- Napoleon Wrasses
- Flutemouth Fishes
- Spanish Mackerels
- Trumpet Fishes
- Red Snappers
- Hard Corals
- Soft Corals
- Vase Sponges
- Yellow Gorgonian Fans
- Red Gorgonian Fans
- Nurse Sharks
- White-tip Reef Sharks
Furthermore, this site has a maximum depth of around 40 meters. Visibility is still good at around 30 meters. There is also a very old anchor at the bottom.
4. USAT Liberty Wreck, Bali, Indonesia
Another one of the safe spots to scuba dive is this. This popular diving site is actually a 120 meter long United States Army cargo ship. Back in January 1942, it left the coast of Australia to go to the Philippines and deliver railway parts and rubber. On January 11, 1942, when it reached the area between the Lombok and Bali islands, it was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. There was definitely an attempt to tow it to Singaraja in Bali, but it was indeed sinking rapidly. Then it was beached halfway through in Tulamben. After that, the ship was just left there until Mount Agung erupted which made it to slide into the water. Nowadays, it’s already at a depth of around 7 to 35 meters.
Take note that diving is possible at any time of the year. Additionally, the waters here are consistently warm too. You can do muck diving, night diving, as well as wreck diving here. For photographers, prepare to have magnificent wide-angle shots of the marine biodiversity down there:
- Mantis Shrimps
- Sea Anemones
- Giant Trevallies
- Reef Sharks
- Garden Eels
- Humphead Parrotfishes
- Giant Clams
5. Barracuda Point, Sipadan Island, Malayasia
Last but definitely not the least safe place to scuba dive is this. It’s located in the North East of the Sipadan Island. Moreover, it’s widely popular for its Barracuda Shoal in a tornado-like formation! It’s indeed the main attraction there.
You can do wall and reef diving in this site with a depth of more than 40 meters. Visibility reaches down to about 30 meters. Moreover, take note that it offers year-round diving. However, the best time is around April to December. You may want to avoid going there around January to March. It’s because of the raining that truly reduces visibility.
Know that diving here begins by descending deep along the sheer wall. At about 22 meters deep, the currents will finally bring you to the Barracuda Point. Lastly, you will finish in the shallows of the Coral Garden.
Furthermore, the other marine life that you can see down there are the following:
- Whitetip Sharks
- Parrotfishes, and Hammerhead Sharks.
CHECK OUT: Top 10 Best Places to See Coral Reefs
The safest places to scuba dive mentioned here are some of the world’s best sites for divers. Safety is indeed the topmost priority in this adrenaline-inducing underwater activity. So if you really want to have a fantastic experience while remaining safe, choose these places. Just as you read, the waters and marine biodiversity in these sites are amazing too! If you want the most extraordinary diving experience, these places are your go-to!
If you are really that adventurous, you can make it a mission to go to all of these diving sites! These are spread on different parts of the world, so you will truly have a wild travel adventure too! Think about the fulfillment that you will have once you get to finish the quest. At the same time, what a bragging right that you will absolutely have! Remember to have a camera to document your dives. You will surely want to reminisce about your wonderful dives later on and what are the treasures that you found down there.
But regardless of where you finally end up, always be safe and have the most fun diving stint ever!